One in 1,000 develops minor reaction to Covid-19 vaccination

Published March 18, 2021
A paramedic prepares a dose of Sinopharm's coronavirus vaccine before administering it to a health worker at a vaccination centre in Karachi. — Reuters/File
A paramedic prepares a dose of Sinopharm's coronavirus vaccine before administering it to a health worker at a vaccination centre in Karachi. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: While over 19,000 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Islamabad, one in 1,000 of them faced minor effect following immunisation. However, not a single case of mortality or hospital admission was reported.

Moreover, around 160 vials of vaccine have been wasted due to different reasons. The vaccine is being administered at 14 adult vaccination centres (AVC) across the city.

A microbiologist Prof Dr Javaid Usman said that in the medical term the reaction of vaccine and medicine is called “anaphylactic reaction” and one case in thousand was quite normal.

According to documents available with Dawn, 19,625 healthcare workers (HCWs) and senior citizens have been vaccinated in the federal capital.

Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the vaccination campaign on Feb 2 and the vaccination of frontline health workers was started the following day across the country.

No mortality, hospitalisation reported in capital so far, says official

In the first week of March, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) allowed the use of Sinopharm, the only vaccine available in Pakistan, for over 60 people and from March 10 the inoculation was started.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on March 15 decided to allow people aged 70 years and above, who had registered themselves on the helpline 1166, to walk into any vaccination centre to get inoculated.

The documents showed that since the first incident of adverse effect was observed on March 2 in Islamabad and after that almost daily such incidents have been reported from at least one centre. Overall 18 persons had developed effects.

Prof Dr Usman, while talking to Dawn, said 18 people had effect following immunisation which was quite normal.

“The policy to keep people at vaccination centres was started in United States as usually the effect appears just after vaccination and by keeping people at vaccination centres it becomes possible to control them through medicines of allergy and asteroids,” he said.

“However it should be kept in mind that sometimes heart beat increases due to anxiety as people, during vaccination, keep thinking whether their decision to get vaccine was right or wrong. So people should get themselves vaccinated against Covid to create herd immunity,” Dr Usman said.

An official of Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), requesting not to be quoted, said that most of the people who had minor reaction such as their heartbeats increase to 120 per minute.

Official said that one in 1,000 cases was quite normal and it should not be taken seriously.

“Moreover, till date we have not received any fatality or hospital admission after the vaccine administration. We suggest that every person should be vaccinated as its benefits/advantages are far more compared to its drawbacks,” he said.

When contacted, District Health Officer Dr Zaeem Zia said that there was no case of mortality or hospitalisation after the vaccination.

He said all persons had minor effects of vaccine.

“As compared to last month, the situation in the federal capital has become serious. I have advised the district administration to take strict action against the violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs). Moreover, I have received complaints that a number of offices have not discontinued biometric attendance, so I am writing a letter to the district administration to take action against them as it is also one of the sources of the spread of virus,” he said.

Replying to a question, Dr Zia said that people should strictly adhere to the SOPs and play their role in breaking the chain of the virus.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2021

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